The Super Bowl. It’s the event of burgers, brats, beers, and bros. Super Bowl parties go from the innocuous to the completely outlandish. But none of them are complete without a full viewing of the event, which of course must include a stellar national anthem kickoff and a dazzling halftime show. And thanks to Luke Bryan performing at Super Bowl 51, we definitely got a stellar national anthem performance.
An Unusual Choice
It’s noteworthy that Bryan performed the national anthem if for no other reason that he’s a man. Usually, that honor is reserved for a woman. And there have definitely been some interesting choices throughout the years. Many singers, in their attempt to put their own flair on it, create some weird version in which you can’t actually understand the lyrics. And so not only was Bryan an unusual choice, he also turned out to be a refreshing one.
Putting His Stamp on it
In an interview, Bryan discussed his feelings about the honor, including his thoughts about his predecessor, Lady Gaga. (She performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” the year prior.) “I think she did an amazing job last year, and through this process, I’ve kinda gone back through the years and watched how people approached the anthem, and just tried to figure out in my mind how I wanted to approach it,” Bryan said. “I think it’s just about … you know, last year she put her stamp on it, which was amazing, and it’s a big moment for me, and I’m excited to get out there and hopefully put my stamp on it.”
Bryan went on to say, “I’m gonna walk out there and kind of follow my heart, and follow the vibe of the room, and so there’s no telling how long it will go,” he shared. “I may get out there and go, ‘I’m about to pass out and I need to get this thing over quick,’ or I may go out there and feel really, really good in the moment and try to milk it a little bit.”
What Bryan walked out there and gave was a straightforward, stripped-down version of the anthem. It was beautiful and lyrical, a true pleasure to listen to. It will be interesting to compare his performance to that of Super Bowl 52. He certainly left big shoes to fill. You can see his entire performance below.